Monday, January 24, 2011

20110124 1830 FCPO EOD Daily Chart Study.

FCPO closed : 3748, changed : unchanged points, volume : higher.
Bollinger band reading : side way range bound.
MACD Histrogram : recovering, buyer and seller battling to gain control.
Support : 3720, 3700, 3650 level.
Resistance : 3750, 3800, 3850 level.
Comment :
FCPO closed surprisingly unchanged with higher volume traded after market opened gap up more than 2% while soy oil futures price traded higher in tandem with major commodities prices.
Daily chart formed a down bar candle closed right at the middle Bollinger band support level with the reading suggesting a side way range bound market development testing support and resistant level.
When to buy : buy at support or weakness with quick cut loss and profit target.
When to sell : sell at resistant or strength with quick cut loss and profit target.

20110124 1802 FKLI EOD Daily Chart Study.

FKLI closed : 1540 changed : -3.5 points,  volume : lower.
Bollinger band reading : side way range bound little upside biased.
MACD Histrogram : falling, seller taking some position.
Support : 1540, 1530, 1515 level.
Resistance : 1550, 1560, 1570 level.
Comment :
FKLI closed marginally lower recorded small losses with lower volume transacted doing nearly 3 points discount compare to cash market while regional market closed mixed.
Daily chart formed a down doji bar candle after market opened gap up tested higher resistant level followed by stronger selling pressure pressed price to closed lower heading towards the lower Bollinger band support level with the reading suggesting a side way range bound little upside biased market development.
When to buy : buy at support or weakness with quick cut loss and profit target.
When to sell : sell at resistant or strength with quick cut loss and profit target.

20110124 1108 Global Economic Related News.

Germany: Business confidence unexpectedly rose to a record high in January as booming exports to Asia and stronger household spending bolstered growth in Europe's largest economy. The Munich based Ifo institute said its business climate index, based on a survey of 7,000 executives, increased to 110.3 from 109.8 in December. That's the highest since records for a reunified Germany began in 1991. (Source: Bloomberg)

U.K. Retail sales in December had record drop on snow, prices. Sales fell 0.8% MoM from the previous month, when they rose 0.4% MoM. From a year earlier, sales were unchanged, which was also the worst result for the month since records began in 1988. (Source: Bloomberg)

U.K: Residential rents fell for the first time in almost a year in December as landlords cut letting fees and cold weather deterred potential tenants from viewing properties, LSL Property Services Plc said. The average monthly rent for a home in England and Wales fell 1.2 MoM% to GBP684 (USD1,087) from November, the first decline since January last year and the lowest average since July, the Newcastle, England-based company said in an emailed statement. The average fee in London fell 2.3% MoM. On the year, national rents rose 3.8% YoY. (Source: Bloomberg)

France: Business confidence jumped to its highest in almost three years in January. An index of sentiment among factory executives increased more than expected to 108 from a revised 102 in December, national statistics office Insee said. (Source: Bloomberg)

Thailand: Economy grew 8% in 2010, central bank estimates
Thailand’s economy expanded at the top end of the central bank’s forecast range last year, estimates from the Bank of Thailand showed, supporting the case for more interest-rate increases to fight inflation. GDP probably increased 8% and may rise 3% to 5% in 2011 and 2012, Assistant Governor Paiboon Kittisrikangwan said. In October, the central bank forecast growth of 7.3% to 8% for 2010. The estimate for this year is unchanged from October. (Bloomberg)

Japan:Set to miss bond sale target, government says
Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan is projected to break his fiscal promise of capping bond sales as he struggles to secure revenue, boosting the case for higher taxes to contain the world’s largest public-debt burden. Japan’s new bond sales will expand to JPY 46.7trn (USD563bn) in the year starting April 2012, surpassing Kan’s target of JPY 44.3trn, according to calculations by the Cabinet Office. Breaking his year-old spending pledges may push up government borrowing costs of around 1.2%. (Bloomberg)

China: Rural incomes surge in boost for consumption
China’s 10.3% economic growth last year drove the biggest increase in the nation’s rural incomes in a quarter century, bolstering efforts to spur consumption in the world’s most populous nation. In the countryside, per capita net income rose 10.9% to RMB 5,919 (USD898), a statistics bureau report showed. The gain was faster than for urban incomes for the first time since 1997. The report also showed acceleration in retail sales and industrial production at the end of last year. (Bloomberg)

UK: BOE’s Posen sees inflation slowing ‘well below’ target
Bank of England policy maker Adam Posen dismissed the recent burst of inflation as temporary, indicating he may keep pushing for more stimulus to aid the economic recovery. “In terms of underlying UK inflation, driven by domestic forces, my position is unchanged,” Posen said. “Inflation will be well below” the bank’s 2% target, he said, citing spare capacity and the likelihood that budget cuts will hurt consumer spending. Posen’s first public comments this year on the UK economic outlook suggest that he is continuing his call for the central bank to expand its bond-purchase plan, even after inflation reached an eight-month high of 3.7% in December. (Bloomberg)

US:Economy speeds up on spending gain
The economy in US probably grew at a faster pace in the fourth quarter, driven by the biggest gain in consumer spending in four years; economists projected a report this week will show. GDP rose at a 3.5% annual pace, up from a 2.6% rate in the previous three months, according to the median estimate of 67 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News before a 28 Jan Commerce Department Report. Other data may show business investment remained a pillar of the economic rebound, while home prices decreased. (Star Biz)

US: 10-Year yields rise by most in 6 weeks on economic outlook
Treasuries fell, pushing up 10-year note yields the most in six weeks, as economic reports in the US and Europe bolstered speculation the global recovery is building momentum and damped government debt’s refuge appeal. Thirty-year bond yields rose to an eight-month high after European officials pledged to strengthen the safety net for debt-strapped countries and a record sale of US inflation- linked notes drew lower-than-average demand. The Treasury will sell USD99bn of notes next week as the Federal Reserve meets and President Barack Obama gives his State of the Union speech. (Bloomberg)

20110124 1106 Malaysia Corporate Related News.

Axiata: M1 gains traction. M1 recently announced a special dividend payout of 3.5cents per share, brings the total dividend per share for FY10 to 17.5 cents per share which translates into a dividend income of SGD46.6m (RM110.9m) to the Malaysian telco. (Source: The Edge Financial Daily)

F&N: Sells Fraser Business Park Phase II development project. F&NHB has accepted the call option notice from Tenggara Muhibbah Sdn Bhd to acquire the entire interest in Brampton for a total cash consideration of RM63m and realising a gain of RM29.6m in the process. (Source: Bursa Malaysia).

GUH: Seeks more land for property projects. While GUH Holdings Bhd continues to look at its printed circuit board (PCB) division as the primary driver of growth this year and in years to come, the firm continues to expand its landbank for other activities. GUH's Taman Bukit Kepayang development in Seremban, has so far seen development of 120 ha and there was a balance of about 108 ha left to be developed over the next six to seven years. (Source: Business Times)

MISC: Bidding for Brass LNG job. MISC Bhd is believed to have submitted a technical bid early this month to provide up to 14 vessels for Brass Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) in West Africa. The vessels are required to have a carrying capacity of about 145,000 cu m each. However, details of the tender, which has attracted nine bids, have yet to surface. (Source: The Edge Weekly)

Malaysia Smelting: Singapore IPO shares priced at SGD1.75. Malaysia Smelting Corp Bhd's (MSC) public offering shares for a secondary listing on the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Ltd (SGX) has been fixed at SGD1.75 or RM4.17 a share. MSC said it expected to raise about SGD40.1m (RM96m) from the public offer, with about SGD8.3m (RM20m) to be used for the expansion of mining and smelting operations through the acquisitions of plant and machinery. (Source: The Star)

Utilities: No change in Selangor water consolidation matrix. The consolidation of the water sector in Selangor seems unlikely to take place even with the latest offer from the state government to acquire all the four concessionaires- Puncak Niaga (M) Sdn Bhd (PNSB), Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas), Konsortium Abass Sdn Bhd and Syarikat Pengeluar Air Sungai Selangor Sdn Bhd (SPLASH) for RM9b. (Source: The Edge Weekly)

MSC Singapore IPO shares priced at SGD1.75
Malaysia Smelting Corp’s (MSC) public offering shares for a secondary listing on the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Ltd (SGX) have been fixed at SGD1.75, or RM4.17 a share. The company told Bursa Malaysia yesterday that the issue price was a discount of about 12.21% to the five-day volume weighted average price up to and including 19 Jan of RM4.75 per share. It said that the issue price was arrived at after a book-building process that was determined based on the demand by institutional and selected investors in Singapore and after taking into consideration the market price of MSC shares. The public issue will consist of a public offer of 1m shares in Singapore and a placement of 24m shares to investors, including institutional and other investors in Singapore. (StarBiz)

Bina Puri unit buys land in KK for RM4.5m
Bina Puri Holdings said its wholly owned subsidiary, Bina Puri Properties SB, has acquired a parcel of land in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah of about 1.95 acres for RM4.5m. Group managing director Tan Sri Tee Hock Seng said in a statement yesterday that the land would be developed into a serviced residence, with an estimated gross development value of about RM60m. The land will be used for the development of one block of service apartments consisting 100 units with sizes ranging from 1,500 sq ft to 4,500 sq ft. The land will be developed into a serviced residence, with an estimated gross development value of about RM60m. (StarBiz)

EISB in deal with leading British engineering school
EDUCATION@Iskandar SB (EISB) is on track in its aim to position Iskandar Malaysia's EduCity in Nusajaya as the leading knowledge hub in the region with the latest agreement between the group and one of Britain's top engineering schools. EISB today welcomes The School of Engineering Sciences, University of Southampton, as its latest partner to establish its first out-of-campus school in Nusajaya. Two other faculties that have so far made their commitment to build their campus in EduCity are Newcastle University of Medicine (NUMed) and the Netherlands Maritime Institute of Technology (NMIT). (BT)

GSB to sell land, hotel for RM22m
GSB Group's unit, Serta Usaha SB (SUSB), has entered into a conditional sale and purchase agreement with Leopad Holdings SB to sell its property, comprising land and a 13-storey hotel, for RM22m cash. The property is situated in Jalan Kapar, off Jalan Syed Putra, in Kuala Lumpur. GSB, in a filing to Bursa Malaysia yesterday, said the proposed sale is expected to be completed within eight months from the date of the agreement. (StarBiz)

McDonald's Malaysia expects 15-20% increase in sales
McDonald's Malaysia expects to achieve a 15%-20% increase in sales this year, to be driven by a series of innovative ways the company is coming out with to pump up sales. Its managing director Sarah Casanova said that last year, McDonald's Malaysia for the first time in the 29 years of its presence here, surpassed the RM1bn mark in sales. The figure was an increase of 24% from the previous year. She said the fast food company also planned to open 21 new restaurants nationwide and remodel 13 existing restaurants this year as part of its seven innovative ways to strengthen further its presence. (Bernama)

All vehicles must be fitted with air bags from next year
All vehicles, except four-wheel drives, will be required to be fitted with airbags from next year, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha said Friday. He said the measure was to reduce risks of death in road accidents. Kong said his ministry would ensure that vehicles manufactured in the country and the national car were equipped with safety airbags before the new regulation was enforced. He said there would be no problem with imported vehicles as most of them came equipped with safety bags. (Bernama)

Salcon aims for 40% revenue contribution from overseas
Salcon is aiming for a 40% contribution to revenue from overseas operations in two to three years, from the current 20%, by securing new water-related contracts in countries like China and India. Executive director Datuk Eddy Leong Kok Wah said the company saw great business opportunities in the water industry regionally as well as domestically, and would be more aggressive in looking out for such jobs going forward. “We have identified three to four projects in China and hopefully, we will be able to finalise one or two deals in these two months’, he told reporters after the company's EGM yesterday. On the local front, Salcon is bidding for the RM1.2bil water treatment plant project under the Langat 2 project with MMC Corp. Salcon subsidiary Salcon Engineering had in November last year been awarded a water-related contract worth RM52.5m from Air Kelantan SB. (StarBiz)

Naim Holdings to develop prime land in Batu Lintang
Sarawak-based Naim Holdings Berhad (Naim) will develop prime land in Batu Lintang, Kuching, into the state's biggest comprehensive mixed development project, costing more than RM300m. Managing Director Datuk Hasmi Hasnan said the proposed development would be sprawled over 13.597 hectares and be completed over 20 years. The project will comprise a four-storey shopping mall with basement car park, office tower block, hotel tower, a 36-storey office tower with basement and elevated carpark, showroom, an 18-storey condominium and a 27-storey high-rise apartment. "We will incorporate a water theme park, a roof garden and incorporate plenty of greeneries so as to come out with a development that is environmental friendly and one that the local populace can enjoy and benefit from," he said. (Bernama)

TEB to raise RM300m from stake sale
Time Engineering Bhd (TEB) expects to raise RM300.57m for the sale of its entire equity stake in TimedotCom Bhd (TdC) to the former's shareholders. The proposed offer for sale will involve a renounceable offer for sale by TEB of up to 626,181,720 ordinary shares of RM1 each in TdC at an offer price to be determined, payable in full upon acceptance, on the basis of eight offer shares for every 10 ordinary shares of 20 sen each in TEB held by the shareholders of the company at a date to be determined. TEB told Bursa Malaysia yesterday that the proposed offer for sale would enable the company to divest its stake in TdC in a manner that would provide the entitled shareholders with an opportunity to have a direct participation in the prospects and future performance of TdC at a discount to the market price. (StarBiz) 

20110124 0937 Global Market Related News.

U.S. crude stays above $89 on economic optimism
SINGAPORE, Jan 24 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures held above $89  on renewed confidence that developed economies are recovering and will boost demand for commodities.
"The sentiment is quite positive," Tetsu Emori, a Tokyo-based commodities fund manager at Astmax Investments, said, referring to signs of economic improvement in Europe and in the U.S.

Colonial Pipeline allocates mixed line for Cycle 8
Jan 24 (Reuters) - Colonial Pipeline said it was allocating its mixed Line 3, north of Woodbury, for Cycle 8, as nominations on this pipeline exceeded the company's ability  to meet the 5-day lifting cycle.
In a note to shippers on Sunday, Colonial said it would announce committed and threshold volumes for the  pipeline on Wednesday.

Wheat up for 5th session, soy rises on Chinese purchases
SINGAPORE, Jan 24(Reuters) - Chicago wheat jumped 1.4 percent on Monday to a new 5-1/2 month top as demand for U.S. cargoes amid shrinking global supplies bolstered the market, while corn gained 0.3 percent on a forecast of lower-than-expected plantings in the United States this year.
"The significance of higher weekly export sales is that the international market is ready pay for expensive U.S. wheat," said Ker Chung Yang, an analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore.  

OIL: Crude around $89 after discount to Brent widens
TOKYO, Jan 24 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures stayed at around $89 a barrel on Monday, supported by expectations that their discount to European Brent crude could be narrowed by arbitrage trading after widening to its broadest level in almost two years.
The premium of Brent crude  to U.S. crude could be narrowed by arbitrage trading after a higher euro and tight North Sea crude supplies helped boost the premium to its highest since February 2009 last week.

COMMODITIES: End week up on broad oil, metals and grains rally
NEW YORK, Jan 21 (Reuters) - A weak dollar drove copper and oil up on Friday and strong export demand for U.S. wheat sent the grain to 5-1/2 months highs, helping commodities end the week higher despite a sell-off in the previous session.
"We have had pretty good economic data this week in the U.S. and in Europe," Bill O'Neill at broker LOGIC Advisors' said in a commentary on copper. "The market is focusing on the reality that demand remains very strong and is going to continue to be strong throughout this year."

GLOBAL MARKETS: Euro hits 2-month high vs dollar, stocks gain
NEW YORK, Jan 21 (Reuters) - The euro hit a two-month high above $1.36 on Friday on hopes the euro zone will find a durable solution for its debt crisis, while world stocks gained as robust GE earnings foreshadowed a stronger U.S. economy.
"Markets are clearly buying into the view that the European debt crisis is being resolved with modest pain," said Steven Englander, head of G10 FX strategy at Citigroup in New York.

EPA Approves Higher Ethanol Blend For Some Cars (Source: CME)
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will allow higher levels of ethanol in gasoline for cars made between 2001 through 2006, after months of studying the safety of the fuel. The EPA's decision, which was widely expected, allows owners to fill up with gasoline made with 15% ethanol, as opposed to the current 10% blend. The expansion of so-called E15 is a victory for producers of the corn-based fuel additive at a time when corn prices are surging because of growing concerns over tightness in world supplies. Meat producers, environmental groups and the auto industry have fought the increased blend. The movement to E15 could provide further fuel for corn prices, while helping to boost sales for such producers as Archer Daniels Midland Inc. Yet analysts warned the agency's announcement Friday is only one step in a longer process.
"This is not a huge positive for ADM since expansion of E15 is still very complicated, but we think it is good news that the EPA is clearing up the uncertainty," wrote analysts at Credit Suisse in a note to clients. It remains unclear when the higher ethanol blend will be available at U.S. gas stations, since many retailers say it's too expensive to install the necessary equipment to offer the fuel. Last year, the EPA approved the 15% ethanol blend for cars in model years beginning in 2007. At the time, the agency said it would study the safety of its use in older vehicles. The higher blend is still prohibited for cars that are older than model year 2001. It also is prohibited for use in motorcycles, heavy-duty vehicles and nonroad engines. "Recently completed testing and data analysis show that E15 does not harm emissions control equipment in newer cars and light trucks," EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said in a statement.
The Renewable Fuels Association said car industry data show 62% of vehicles on the road today could use the higher blend. Producers of ethanol applauded the EPA's decision and called it a move that will reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil. The higher blend is expected to help producers meet federal ethanol mandates. The increase is opposed by car makers and power equipment manufacturers, which say consumers are likely to use the 15% ethanol fuel in products for which it hasn't been approved. If the products are damaged as a result, the companies have voiced concern over their potential liability. Environmentalist said the use of E15 would increase air pollution in U.S. cities, while meat producers warned the higher blend would raise their costs as increased demand for corn boosts animal feed prices.
"When consumers ask why their food costs are higher, it will be difficult for EPA to explain that today's decision had no impact on the food shopper's dollar," said a spokesman for the National Chicken Council, a trade group for poultry producers and processors.

China Buys Additional 8.45 Million Metric Tons Of U.S. Soybeans (Source: CME)
China has purchased an additional 8.45 million metric tons of U.S. soybeans, bringing its two-day total to 11.52 million, the U.S. Soybean Export Council said. The deals, with several companies, were signed in a ceremony coinciding with Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to Chicago. The deals were mixed between the 2010-11 marketing year and the 2011-12 year, said Ralph Loos, the export council's spokesman. "Some deliveries won't be until this time next year, until after the harvest. Some deliveries will be almost immediate." The deals follow Thursday sales of 3.07 million metric tons that were primarily for 2011-12. The total value of Thursday and Friday's deals was $6.18 billion, Loos said.
Soybean futures are trading at more than two-year highs as strong global demand from China and elsewhere fuels concerns farmers won't be able to replenish depleted inventories. And Chinese imports are likely to set another record in the coming crop year, with U.S. sales climbing to 25 million tons or more, said Xiaoping Zhang, acting China country director for the American Soybean Association, a trade group.

Chinese Agriculture Imports See Sharp Rise In 2010 (Source: CME)
China's grain imports made the largest gains by far among China's commodity purchases last year, signaling higher demand and flush liquidity that analysts say is likely to pave the way for more imports this year. Led by a surge in corn shipments from the U.S., Chinese grain imports in 2010 surged as the rise of large-scale livestock farms and a shift in diet patterns dented Beijing's policy of self-sufficiency in the sector. China imported 1.57 million metric tons of corn last year, an 18-fold increase on year, the General Administration of Customs said Friday, confirming semi-official statistics released earlier this week. Private-sector and exporter estimates show China may import 1-2 million tons of corn this year, a sharp increase from when corn imports were just 49,000 tons in 2008 and 83,000 tons in 2009. Standard Chartered economist Stephen Green has also suggested that productivity growth in China's grain sector is likely to slow in coming years, making corn an "obvious candidate" for higher imports.
Higher demand in 2011 is coming from the rise of large-scale hog farming to feed China's growing appetite for meat, Deputy Agriculture Minister Wei Chaoan said last month. Wheat imports were also higher last year, rising 36% to 1.2 million tons in 2010, the customs department said. This year, four cargoes of around 200,000 tons of feed wheat have already been sold to Chinese buyers led by state grain trader Cofco Ltd., a person familiar with the situation said. Australia's major wheat exporters are all involved in talks with Chinese buyers, the person said. The rising grain imports were driven by still-loose credit conditions, fueling inflation to three-year highs towards the year-end. "The deluge of liquidity that has flooded (the system) over the past year continues almost unabated," said Alistair Thornton, an analyst with IHS Global Insight. "Despite December's slight retreat in the consumer price index, the demand side of the inflationary picture remains unchanged."
Soybean imports last year reached a record 54.8 million tons, China Customs said. Even for rice, arguably the most protected grain in China, imports in 2010 edged up to 366,171 tons, rising nearly 29,000 tons over the previous year. Local media reports suggest official figures don't account for rice smuggling into the country across China's southern border. Cotton imports also surged, nearly doubling on year to 2.8 million tons in 2010. Sugar imports were up 66% last year.

U.S. housing and jobs numbers signal firmer economy
WASHINGTON, Jan 20 (Reuters) - U.S. home resales jumped more than expected in December and claims for new jobless claims last week posted their biggest decline in nearly a year, showing two key economic trouble spots on the mend.
Other reports also offered reason for optimism, with mid-Atlantic factory activity holding up well and an index of leading indicators surpassing economists' forecasts.The raft of positive data on Thursday renewed hope that 2011 growth will surpass last year's performance, which was not robust enough to put a meaningful dent in the nation's elevated 9.4 percent unemployment rate.

German sentiment strongest in 20yrs, tops forecast
BERLIN, Jan 21 (Reuters) - German business morale rose to its highest level in 20 years in January, surging past economists' forecasts on the back of a manufacturing sector now fully recovered from the 2008 financial crisis.
The Munich-based Ifo economic institute said on Friday its business climate index rose to 110.3 from 109.8 in December, the strongest since records started for reunified Germany at the start of 1991 and confounding expectations for a flat reading.

China Dec refined copper imports fall, seen up in 2011
HONG KONG, Jan 21 (Reuters) - China's refined copper imports dipped last year as buyers held off purchases on poor arbitrage opportunities, though a pickup is expected this year on stock rebuilding.
China's imports of refined copper, the most popular type in international markets, fell 8.37 percent in 2010 to 2.92 million tonnes, against a record high 3.19 million tonnes in 2009, customs data released on Friday showed.

Rio smelter, Aquila ops resume after Australia floods
SYDNEY, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Miners Rio Tinto  and Aquila Resources  resumed some operations in Australia's flood ravaged Queensland state on Friday as waters receded and the region's vital mining and metals sector slowly returned to work.
Rio Tinto   terminated force majeure at its Boyne Island aluminium smelter as it could resume transportation while Aquila restarted production at its Isaac Plains coal mine, a joint venture with Brazil's Vale ,.

PRECIOUS-Gold hits two-month low as haven appeal wanes
LONDON, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Gold touched a two-month low in Europe on Friday, pressured by a firmer appetite for assets seen as higher risk on expectations the economic recovery was gaining traction, but a retreat in the dollar prevented a steeper drop.
The metal is heading for a third consecutive weekly loss and its weakest monthly performance since July as a more optimistic view of global economic growth and stability boosted investment in assets seen as higher risk, like stocks, at gold's expense.Spot gold  fell as low as $1,340.80 an ounce and was bid at $1,343.40 an ounce at 1039 GMT, against $1,345.40 late in New York on Thursday. U.S. gold futures for February delivery  fell $3.80 an ounce to $1,342.70.

FOREX-Euro nears 2-mth high, may see more gains
TOKYO/SINGAPORE, Jan 21 (Reuters) - The euro rose against the dollar on Friday, nearing a two-month high hit earlier this week, and traders said the currency may see more gains in the near-term after a recent improvement in sentiment.Traders say successful bond sales from highly indebted countries, including Portugal and Spain, and expectations of a strengthened euro zone rescue fund, are lending the euro support.
The single currency rose 0.1 percent to $1.3486 , nearing a two-month high of $1.3539 hit on Wednesday on trading platform EBS.A near-term focal point for the euro, which has climbed roughly 5 percent from a trough hit earlier in January, is whether it manages to finish the day above resistance at $1.3510, the top of the weekly ichimoku cloud.

Euro hits 2-mth high vs dollar; stocks rise
LONDON, Jan 21 (Reuters) - World stocks edged up but were set to post their biggest weekly drop in eight weeks on concerns that rising inflation in emerging economies could lead to aggressive policy action and hurt global growth.
"Background is still somewhat nervous given concerns over further tightening measures in China," said Keith Bowman, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown in London.

20110124 0936 Soy Oil & Palm Oil Related News.

US soy product futures finished mixed, as soymeal futures slipped with nearby soybeans. Analysts were surprised soymeal, used to feed livestock, tumbled because cold weather hitting the central US usually causes livestock producers to increase feedings. Commodity funds sold an estimated 2,000 soymeal contracts and bought an estimated 3,000 soyoil contracts. Soyoil felt support from ongoing concerns about heavy rain hurting palm oil output in Indonesia and Malaysia, the world's top two producers, an analyst says. CBOT March soyoil closed up 0.3 cent at 57.56 cents per pound, and CBOT March soymeal fell $5.70 to $379.60 per short ton. (Source: CME)

Argentine corn crop seen down, soy steady
BUENOS AIRES, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Argentina's 2010/11 corn harvest is seen falling to 19.5 million tonnes, down 4 percent from the last estimate as dry weather hits yields, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Thursday.
Despite the deteriorating outlook for corn output, the exchange held its forecast for soy output at 47 million tonnes following heavy rains in parts of Buenos Aires province, the No.1 soy growing region.

Palm oil hits near 2-wk high as export data supports
JAKARTA, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures rose to a near two-week high as traders cited strong export data amid concern that supplies will struggle to keep pace with robust demand.  "The export numbers came out nice -- good numbers. 800,000 tonnes would mean 1.2 or 1.25 million tonnes exports in the month -- higher than people were expecting."

Indonesia to hike Feb palm oil export tax to 25 pct-sources
JAKARTA, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Indonesia may increase its palm oil  export tax for February to 25 percent from 20 percent in January, after a rally in international prices, industry sources familiar with the matter said on Friday.
The base export price for crude palm oil (CPO) is likely to be set at $1,194 a tonne in February, up from $1,112 per tonne in January, said one source in the industry ministry.

Rains brighten prospects for Argentine soybeans
BUENOS AIRES, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Heavy rains this week have brought significant relief to soy crops in Argentina's main farming belt, helping replenish soil moisture after months of dryness, crop weather specialists said on Thursday.
Argentina is one of the world's biggest exporters of soy and corn, but scarce rain caused by the La Nina weather phenomenon has driven down harvest estimates and boosted global grains prices due to supply fears.

India aims to produce 4 mln T palm oil in 5 years
NEW DELHI, Jan 21 (Reuters) - India's palm oil output should surge to 4 million tonnes from about 60,000 currently in five years as the government, battling food inflation, encourages largescale oil palm cultivation, the farm secretary told Reuters.
India, the world's biggest edible oil importer, buys in almost half its annual consumption of around 16 million tonnes. Palm oil, imported from Indonesia and Malaysia, accounts for about 80 percent of total edible oil imports.